By BRAC Sierra Leone Communications
BRAC Sierra Leone has distributed cassava cuttings and farming tools comprising of cutlasses, hoes, gardening lines and tapes to 39 small holder farmer groups in Kenema, Pujehun and Kailahun as a way to improve the cassava value chain in the country under the Sustainable Cassava Commercialization through Entrepreneurial Strengthening Support (SUCCESS) project.
Funded by the European Union, the overall objective is to contribute to collaborative and economically viable cassava value chain in Sierra Leone that promotes economic, social and environmentally sustainable growth and create jobs and markets for cassava value chain actors.
BRAC’s Agriculture, Food Security and Livelihoods Program Manager, Sulaiman Jonathan Bah, encouraged the farmers to use the cassava cuttings and farming tools to increase their productivity and contribute to the healthy growth and wellbeing of their children by increasing their food intake.
“The tools and support BRAC is giving to you is exclusively yours, and we expect that you will use them to add value to your cassava production to boost your economic status as well as increase food security in your homes and communities at large” he said to a cheering crowd.
Bah also advised that farmers share best practices to others in their communities who were not fortunate to be part of the training or benefit from the tools and cassava cuttings donations.
The project manager, Joseph Nabie also assured the people of his continued support whenever they need him. He said “We have been working together as a family for some time now, and I believe we can always build on the knowledge and lessons learnt to improve on our farming techniques. I will always be available when you need my support”.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers of Bandajuma Sowa in Pujehun district, the paramount chief PC Lahai AK Sowa, thanked BRAC Sierra Leone for the support given to the farmers, pledging to give his own support, by his authority, for BRAC to operate within his chiefdom without any hindrances.
“I am happy for the support we have received from BRAC and I will ensure that they have a free hand to operate within my community without any interference” the chief said.
In Similar tone of appreciation, the District Extension Officer in Pujehun, Ahmed Sankoh expressed appreciation to BRAC for the support to the farmers.
“I am thankful to BRAC for this support to our people. We have always been hearing the renowned name of the Bo gari, but with this support I know we will soon start to boast of the Pujehun Gari as a brand. This is really a great step to improve the cassava value chain” said Sankoh.
Also expressing gratitude to BRAC was the Administrative Assistant of the Kenema District Council, Morrison Yanie and Mohamed Mustapaha Sherrif of Upper Komendi in Sowa Chiefdom, representing the Gbotima Farmers Association.